AT&T’s weak 3G coverage map? There’s a lawsuit for that

November 4, 2009

mapforthat Verizon has been drumming up press for it’s new DROID smartphone in commercials by showing a map of Verizon’s 3G coverage beside one of AT&T’s. Now AT&T has filed a lawsuit claiming that the map is misleading because it doesn’t include its 2G network coverage.

AT&T has been getting flack about dropped calls and congestion on its network ever since the launch of the original iPhone. At that time the company had barely any 3G coverage so the first iPhone was relegated to a 2G network connection.

In fact, that 2G connection still provides voice and data coverage for a large portion of AT&T customers outside of major cities. These customers don’t have access to the speedier 3G network connection that the iPhone is capable of using.

When Verizon showed the map of only AT&T’s 3G coverage, a large portion of the country is left blank. AT&T’s lawsuit says that Verizon is misleading customers into believing that they can’t get AT&T coverage in those blank areas at all.

Either that or AT&T is pissed that the Verizon commercial is tempting customers to jump ship to Verizon’s more reliable all-3G network. Of course, that wouldn’t make nearly as good a basis for a lawsuit.

What’s interesting is that the latest iPhone is billed as a 3G device even though a large portion of AT&T customers don’t live in one of the company’s 3G coverage area. Beyond that, AT&T’s map shows the company’s entire coverage area without marking the 3G areas differently at all.

AT&T customers have to look at a listing of individual cities where the company has 3G coverage. That must be what happens when the coverage areas are too few or too embarrassing to actually put on the map.

Instead of suing Verizon for pointing out it’s anemic 3G network, maybe AT&T should funnel money into expanding coverage into new cities. With less dropped calls and dead zones, AT&T customers might be more willing to recommend a friend.

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